Ok, this will be my last Japan Blog. Whew. My last blog entry got deleted, so this one will be much better right? :)
On Thursday, we went with Etuski, his mom, his aunt and his cousin, to Hakone to the Temple gate on Hakone lake. On a nice day, you are actually able to see Fujiyama from the temple gate. Unfortunatley for us, it was not a clear day, therefore it has been added to the things we need to do when we return to Japan. After walking around and having a great lunch at a restaurant at a fishing peir, we went to a Japanese Onsen in Hakone. An onsen is a Hotspring that has been converted into a bath house. They can be indoor, or outdoor, or in this case, both. They are lovely. It was a bit pricey, about 40 dollars for both of us, but worth the experience. Now, for those of you who may visit an onsen one day, I need to tell you that you must leave your modesty at the door. For once you are in the dressing rooms, you must also leave your clothes. There is a female side and a male side, so Kurin and Etsuki went in one house, and us girls went in another, but you can imagine it was a bit awkward for Kurin and I, being the only non Japanese folks in the building, and not to mention that we are both glow in the dark white. Thank goodness Japanese people do not stare... I cant imagine going to a bath house in China! Also, you will not be allowed in if you have tatoos. There are many places in Japan that ban tatoos in public spaces, bath houses especially... Yakuza and everything you know...
Once you get past the awkwardness of it all, and take in the mountainous beauty and traditional Japanese architecture and gardens surrounding you, you will soon forget that all you have to cover your self with is a face cloth. Sitting in there and looking at all the beautiful Japanese women sitting on their stools and brushing their hair was like stepping back in time.
After the bath, we all went upstairs to sit for a bit (kurin and Etsuki were passed out), when all of a sudden I felt the earth shake! Yes, it was a tremor alright. Maybe not huge on the richter scale, but big enough to freak me out. Etsuki's family took it in stride, while Kurin slept through the whole thing. :)
Etsuki's Aunty and cousin are very nice. We went for a lovely traditional Japanese dinner in Odawara and then returned home to go to sleep. It was a long but beautiful day.
Friday, I am not proud to say this, but I must, we went to Tokyo Disneyland. (I know!) Other than the fact that it was a collossal waste of cash (16600 yen to be precise) and four of the major rides were shut down, we did manage to have a pretty fun day. Couldn't have been that bad, we were there for 9 and a half hours, and then ate tendon in the subway on our way home.
YUM, TENDON!!!!!! Did I mention that was my favourite dish in Japan?
Saturday, Kurin stayed at Etsuki's and did cough! Cough! Homework, while I went out with Hirokosan (Etsuki's cousin) and hung out for the day. SHe is awesome. We did some shopping, bought Kurin his DSLL (goddess that kid is spoiled!) and then had dinner at an Izakaya restaurant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izakaya
Our Izakaya had a computer wall mounted menu with a touch screen to choose your drinks and food. Really cool. We had fun. I cant wait to see Hiroko again.
Sunday was our last day... :(
We met Kenta, Rina, Risa, Ayako, Kotomi and Mamiho! We went to a crepe stand, where you can buy crepes of any flavour or design. They are awesome. I had raspberry cheesecake. Toooooooo fattening. We bought some balls for Kurin's earrings and two kimonos. We tried snake boarding which is all the rage, and everyone sucked except for Kenta and mamiho. Afterwards we stopped at one of the photo booths AGAIN, and took photos.
For dinner, Etsuki's family prepared Tamaki Sushi for us, and we had so much fun. Etsuki's gramma came up, and she sang songs!!!! :) So cute!!!!! It was a fantastic night, but a sad one. Kentaro, Etsuki's friend, came and we all had a lot of fun talking and eating. I feel as though they are my family.
Monday morning, we were up at 3:45 am, and off to the airport. Kentaro came to keep Etsuki awake, and it was a tearful goodbye at Etsuki's with his whole family standing there to say goodbye to us. I will never forget them, and I certainly cant wait to return to Japan and see them all again.
At the airport, we ran into Customs, and waved at Etsuki holding his camera. I hate goodbyes. So we learned a new phrase in Japanese... Mata Ai Masho, meaning see you again.
(I will never forget)